Gerard & Gerdine Willemsen
We hope as church that we shall find new ways to make the Christian faith relevant to the secularized Sweden of today.
Gerard and Gerdien Willemsen have lived in Stockholm since the summer of 2012. Before that since 1991, they had been living in Lapland, most recently in Kiruna, the most northerly city in Sweden.
Gerdien serves as pastor for a local church of Uniting Church in Sweden in Rotebro, a suburb of Stockholm which tries to reach out to the secularized people there. The church creates contacts in many different ways, in which Gerdien with her experience can give an important contribution. But above all she helps the members and the youth group to reach out in a stimulating way. As the only pastor in this church, her task encomprises as well pastoral care, counselling, preaching but also activities aimed at social and youth work. Her experience with different creative methods is very valuable there.
Gerard still does mission work among the Sami people, the indigenous nomadic population of Lapland (an area in the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia), and other indigenous peoples. Gerard tries to present the Gospel to this people group in an accessible way. Gerard is also responsible for global mission in the Uniting Church in Sweden. This gives a possiblity to also stimulate mission to Europe from Sweden. At this moment, UCS has work mainly in the Baltic area - Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Spain, Bulgaria and Rumania. In this work he also meets other indigenous peoples, e.g. in Russia, but also on other continents.